Up-and-coming malting barley varieties, Craft and Fairing, have been promoted to Full Approval on the newly-released Malting Barley Committee (MBC) Approved List for harvest 2019. This is excellent news and a big step forward for malting barley growers in the UK, says breeder Syngenta, who also bred the current winter malting barley market leader, SY Venture.

On the new List, Craft winter malting barley receives Full Approval for Brewing use, while Fairing spring malting barley receives Full Approval for Grain distilling use, says Tracy Creasy, seeds marketing manager for Syngenta.

“The promotion of Craft is significant because Craft offers growers a yield boost over other winter malting barley varieties with Full MBC Approval for brewing use on the current AHDB Recommended List,” says Mrs Creasy.

“At the same time, Craft also offers outstanding grain quality – in particular hot water extract, which is important because it represents a higher alcohol yield for end users.

“Meanwhile, the promotion of spring barley Fairing to Full Approval for Grain distilling use on the List is highly significant because, for harvest 2018, there were no varieties that had Full Approval for this use.

“Fairing was bred specifically to meet key requirements of the important grain distilling market in Scotland.

“Among these are its very early maturity: it is the earliest-maturing spring barley on the AHDB Recommended List. This is significant because malting barley for grain distilling is grown right up into the Highlands of Scotland.

“At the same time, Fairing also offers a high grain nitrogen content for end users. This is important because grain distilling primarily uses wheat or maize, so barley with a high nitrogen content and high enzyme content is needed to help with the conversion of the starch in wheat or maize into alcohol.”

This latest version of the MBC List now sees Syngenta having varieties with Full Approval in each of the four classifications of malting uses of: winter varieties for brewing use; spring varieties for brewing use; spring varieties for malt distilling use; and spring varieties for grain distilling use. This really confirms our position as the leaders in malting barley excellence, says Mrs Creasy.

As well as promotion of Craft and Fairing to Full Approval, the new, top-yielding Syngenta winter malting barley variety, Electrum, has also been added to the new MBC List with Provisional 1 approval for Brewing use, Mrs Creasy notes.

Pictured: Craft